Going Down Under

…My life abroad

UGH January 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 3:39 am

academics!

i love the privilege to get an education but i still have my moments… like tonight when i realized that i have to read 11 books in 12 weeks for spring semester, 5 of which are about science and technology for a gen ed which i put off until my last semester. joy.

see, here’s the thing.  i get the distinct sense that some of my friends at college ENJOY “the books”.  the learn FOR FUN.  they would research things whether it was compulsory or not.  I, however, either have not yet arrived at that place or perhaps never will arrive at that place.  I know I’m almost finished with college, and I’ve done pretty well grade-wise I guess, but it has been a struggle for me.  Looking back, there were times when I thought I simply couldn’t complete numerous assignments.  Two different faculty members at Messiah that have been mentors in my life are both working on their doctorates at the moment.  They have both said to me on separate occasions that getting this degree is exceptional in the incredible amount of perseverance that it requires.  Not necessarily in its difficult; but in its perseverance.  I feel the same way about college now, to a lesser extent.  I just have to charge through and finish, and the end is in sight.  That doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for college and classes and what I’ve learned from textbooks.  But perhaps my greatest lesson of college has been in coming to the understanding that I don’t learn best from books.  If I really want to learn something, I have to interact with it – outside of the classroom – in real life.  Textbooks serve their purpose to a degree, but for the most part I feel that the other experiences of college outside the classroom have prepared me far better for the curve balls that real life will throw my way.

man those 11 books really put me on a soap box didn’t they?

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Let’s talk music January 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 9:06 pm

Over the past few weeks I have been busy busy busy in the area of music.  I’m not sure if I already mentioned it on here, but for Christmas my parents gave me money towards recording a CD.  It has been a lifelong dream of mine ever since I was a kid, and now I can finally say that the process is beginning.

Originally I thought about doing some covers  (meaning any song that is written by somebody else) – you know, throw in a little norah jones here and a regina spektor there, maybe a worship tune or two.  But this past year has been quite the year of inspiration for me, causing me to write a bunch of songs based on various thoughts and experiences.  Many of these were written in Australia, since being around “musos” (music majors) at an arts school rubbed off on me.

It was tough to get things off the ground recording-wise because it is quite a lengthy and complicated process, but two friends I met recently are great musicians and have a studio in their basement so they have been helping me out with it.  Friday I had my first recording session where my friend helped me to narrow down my songs to my favorite ones and format them.  Then the recording began!  I “laid down” (i love these little terms somehow they make me feel cool hhahah) piano and vocal tracks for two of my songs, apathetic and make it count.  Hopefully my demo CD will have about 7 tracks on it, and they will be quite the mix let me tell ya.  One of them is a super-jazzy song called dandelion, another a worship song I wrote for a school project called Shadow of Your Holiness, another a cute little folk tune where I admit most of my quirks called A Quick Synopsis.  So basically… they are completely different from one another: some very “Christian radio” sounding, others indie-ish, others jazz.  I am going to include two covers – a combined version of Stand By Me and I’ll Be There into one song.  But anyways just wanted to throw out an update on the project and everything.  I hope to be finished recording by March if all goes according to plan and be able to promote the CD on campus here at a coffeehouse in the spring.  It’s all pretty overwhelming but I feel good about it.  It is giving me an outlet to share a lot that has been on my heart and what I’ve been learning (well in regards to the more serious songs) and it will really challenge me musically.  I wrote the following little folk song last night and thought I would let you peek over my shoulder a bit – I don’t think I’ll be able to include it on the album.  It’s really weird and strange and random but here are the lyrics…the goal was that I wanted to play around with personifying objects.

If walls could talk, they’d sure keep their mouths shut

Give them credit – keepin’ secrets ain’t easy

They don’t forgive and they sure don’t forget

You can bet they don’t take your side

If hearts can really break, most people wouldn’t make it

You could give them a spare – it wouldn’t make a difference

If hearts can throb you can’t control who they long for

You can bet they have a mind of their own.

Chorus: If

If

If

Don’t you ever wonder?

If seagulls understood us, they’d kind we’re kinda foolish

Who’s to say they don’t – maybe they’re plotting to take over

Can’t really blame ’em if they are ’cause we deserve it

You can bet they wouldn’t be sympathetic

If roads could bend, they’d be too proud to bend over

They’re too stuck in their ways to change

They never get a break and it’s made them quite contrary

You can bet they’ve got a chip on their shoulder

If records could play, they’d sure feel much better

Think of how they feel since they became an antique

They’ve got no pity for women with wrinkles

You can bet they don’t skip by accident

If print was fine, it wouldn’t volunteer it

It prefers to be discreet and let you assume

Maybe it seemed a little down, but don’t be fooled

You can bet it laughs at your expense.

 

Exhibit A: What a college student does when they are supposed to be studying January 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrea @ 6:18 am

Yes, it’s true. I have a big exam tomorrow and it’s 1 AM and here I sit blogging. Don’t worry, 4 out of 5 chapters are nailed down. Also not helpful was the LOST season premiere tonight – confusing yet AWESOME because the words awesome and lost are synonymous. obviously.

Well January is flying by, I gotta tell ya. I knew it would with the psycho schedule of mine lately. It’s funny how the grass is always greener. I was complaining about being bored by new year’s, and now I’m begging for a break. I am taking a J-Term class called Adolescent Development, which has been really interesting. People call me crazy for this but I love the middle-school age group. Somehow I don’t like kids or animals really but I love adolescents. Go figure. It’s such a weird stage of life and studying it intensely has been really cool. I’m writing a big research paper right now about social networking sites (translation: facebook/myspace) and their influence on teenagers’ personality and social skills. You know you’re in the right major when your classwork is relatively enjoyable.

So what else is new? Besides Obama. Who is pretty sweet if you ask me. Well, I am hopefully going to begin recording this Friday. I wrote this new jazz song centered around the concept of a dandelion… a person who becomes a weed in your life. I think I’m gonna start with that one because it is so totally opposite of the kind of song most people would expect from me. It’s a weird mix of stuff, my collection of original songs – some are really Christian-y worship-y, others are just about random things. And they are all totally different styles. If this project comes together it will be miraculous.. oy. It’s probably going to turn out to be like a 4th job time-wise but what’s the fun in doing life half-way? Sleep is for wimps.

Hmm. Oh yeah! My friend Emily and I are soon going to make one of our freshman dreams come true. No, it does not involve graduating cum laude although hey that would be nice too. Oh no. We have been planning for four years to go to THE groundhog day ceremony in Punxsutawney. Who knows if that is spelled right but you get the gist. Yes: On a special day (Feb. 2nd) Punxy Phil, the beloved woodland creature will emerge from his little dwelling to determine our weather for the rest of the spring. And WE will witness this ever-reliable prediction. haha. It sounds like a bizarre weekend which I will have to be sure to tell you about afterwards…but after the stress of this month I am going to be so ready to do something random like that. Maybe I will wake up the next day and get to relive it all over again.. or was that a movie I saw one time? : )

Epic.

Epic.

In conclusion,

I submit to you that tough economic times are not a good enough excuse for under-tipping your waitress.

obladi oblada life goes on

later tigers